Can dipping your toe in the water be more detrimental than diving all the way in? Yes, when it comes to using social media for marketing your business.

social media as part of an inbound marketing plan

Dipping your toe in the water by launching a small social media experiment or hiring an intern to manage community engagement will deliver insignificant or vague results. It is not going to change the way you are doing business. As HubSpot’s VP of Marketing Mike Volpe explained in a recent webinar , social media needs to be part of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy in order to yield visible results.

Here are 10 thought-provoking questions about social media
that emerged from the same webinar:

1. How should organizations measure social media success?

Social media success should be measured using the same metrics you would use for any other inbound marketing campaign—traffic, leads and customers. Find a way to measure not only social media reach (number of followers, fans and connections), but also how this reach translates into leads and customers. At HubSpot, we do this through closed-loop marketing .

2. Have Facebook and Twitter diluted the effect or need to blog?

Facebook and Twitter have actually increased the need and importance of blogging. As Mike mentioned during the webinar, a lot of HubSpot’s success on social media is thanks to our frequent blog posts. That enables people to ReTweet it, “like” it and comment on it. These two mediums work together rather than against each other.

3. Are B2B or B2C companies more social media friendly?

Social media applies to both environments, B2B and B2C. Trying to isolate it to one type of business, as Mike pointed out, is like asking, “Does the phone apply to only certain types of businesses?” While its effectiveness might fluctuate based on specific industries and different types of networks, social media can be applicable to all environments. Case studies are there to demonstrate this success. 

4. How do you add social buttons to your content?

In order to make your blogging content more shareable, consider adding social media buttons and enabling readers to further promote your posts. Facebook, for instance, offers “ social plugins ,” embeddable features that can easily be integrated in your site. You could also save the social media icons as images and hyperlink them to link to specific status updates on Twitter. As part of our blogging platform , HubSpot also automatically adds the buttons you want to have featured on your posts.

5. How do you know what the best channel is to reach your audience?

The best way to evaluate what channel you should use to engage with your audience is by first observing what channel they use to reach you. Do people email you? Or do they leave comments on your blog? Maybe they prefer the 140 characters on Twitter to articulate a thought or share some feedback? Use such insights to develop a specific marketing campaign. While there might be times when you can shift conversations to another medium, first try to take into consideration people’s communication preferences.

6. What do you mean by “Social Media Intelligence?”

During the webinar, Mike used the phrase “social media intelligence,” which sparked some interest and led to a number of questions. He was referring to the insights a sales rep can receive using a lead’s social media profiles. If someone fills out a form on your site, you might want to learn more about them through LinkedIn and Twitter , for instance. Such intelligence can lead to more fruitful and effective conversations with prospects.

7. Any advice for companies with limited time/resources for social media?

While generally people want to be connected to the real industry experts, outsourcing marketing services can be an alternative solution for small companies that don’t have the time or resources to commit to inbound marketing. If you decide to go in that direction, don’t outsource to different agencies, but develop an integrated approach by making one agency as much of an expert in your industry as possible. HubSpot's Service Marketplace can help you find the right partner to work with.

8. How do you justify spending time on social media in companies where management isn't onboard?

Including social media in a company’s general marketing strategy often means changing a mindset. If your management team is not on board with such an approach, let them read the Inbound Marketing book and pick up some ideas from on their own. Consider sending them some case studies of companies in your industry that are doing well with social media.

9. How does mobile marketing fit into social media?

Mobile technology and social media both revolve around the concept of real-time interaction. Such platforms enable you to achieve instant access to information and peer feedback. What is more, both social networks and mobile are becoming more sensitive to people’s geographies and want to leverage location-based opportunities.

10. How do you go about creating and maintaining a blog?

It is important that you create your blog as part of your company site. This will bring you strong SEO benefits and enable you to develop recognition as an industry resource. In order to successfully maintain a blog, you will also need to figure out a scalable strategy. When brainstorming potential topic ideas, check your email outbox and the questions you have received from customers and prospects. It will be easy for you to turn these emails into blog posts.

Do you have any other social media-related questions? Share them in the comments below and let’s see if we can find an answer!

Photo credit: Resident on Earth


Originally published Nov 8, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated June 10 2021

Topics:

Inbound Marketing Social Media Marketing Automation Free Marketing Software